New Haven Style Tomato and Mozzarella

This is the traditional New Haven Tomato and Mozzarella pie. The recipe is based on the way Pepe’s has (and still does) make this classic. Fresh tomato sauce, oregano, freshly grated Pecorino-Romano cheese, olive oil, and topped with deli sliced, very thin mozzarella. When it bakes, the tomato sauce boils up, and through, the thin mozzarella slices and creates a distinctive topping, a pure fusion of the tomato and cheese. Very different from your typical cheese pie and absolutely delicious.

New Haven Style Tomato and Mozzarella





  • Use a can of just whole peeled tomatoes and maybe some tomato puree and salt. No crushed or pureed tomatoes, no tomato juice added, no sweeteners added.


  • Do not use shredded mozzarella. Use a thin, deli sliced mozzarella. Tell them to use the thinnest setting on the slicing machine, #1.

  • Do not use cheese which is already grated. It is not fresh, too dry, and will have anti-caking chemicals added which affects how it melts (poorly) among other things.


    • Drain the whole tomatoes from the can and place in a bowl leaving the tomato juice behind.
    • Hand crush the tomatoes into small chunks. Sauce should be uniformly crushed into small pieces, no large ones. This will be a thick, rich sauce.
    • Add the olive oil, salt. Mix thoroughly
    • Use right away or refrigerate for up to 5 days


    • Flour a peel with fine ground semolina flour
    • Shape a 14 “ pizza and place on your peel.
    • Spoon 1+ ladles ( 5oz) of sauce over the pizza. Go almost to the crust. Leave about a 1 inch. This pie has a lot of sauce on it.
    • Sprinkle some oregano on the top to taste. Typically, the oregano has a prominent place in the flavor profile of this pizza, although don’t overpower it.
    • Add the thin slices of mozzarella over the entire pizza covering all the sauce. Start in the middle, work outward and fill in any gaps with smaller pieces. You should not see any sauce after placing the slices but try not to overlap the slices on top of each other.
    • Drizzle some EVOO over the entire pizza. Pour in a spiraling circular fashion (inward to outward) to cover the whole pie.
    • Sprinkle lots of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese over the pizza.
    • Bake at 500 to 550 for about 7 - 9 minutes. You want some char on the crust
    • Cool on a wire rack for a minute or two before serving.
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